Aug 29, 2023 4 min read

Eminem tells Republican presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy to stop using his music

Eminem tells Republican presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy to stop using his music

US presidential wannabe Vivek Ramaswamy has been told to stop using Eminem’s music at his political events. The rapper’s decision to seek to block Ramaswamy from using his music at his rallies is very possibly a response to his political agenda. Although he may also have been motivated by the political hopeful’s rather cringey performance of ‘Lose Yourself’ at the recent Iowa State Fair.

Political newcomer and entrepreneur Ramaswamy has been gaining attention as one of the people hoping to stand as the Republican candidate in the next US presidential election with his efforts to pander to Donald Trump’s core base. After a debate between those hopefuls – aside from Trump himself – last week, most American news media concluded that Ramaswamy gave the most Trump-like performance.

In general, the journalists and commentators connecting Ramaswamy to Trump were doing so based on his combative approach to the debate and his willingness to make the kind of statements that go down well with the Trump base while annoying plenty of other people.

However – given how many artists have expressed annoyance at Trump making use of their music at his political events – Ramaswamy already annoying Eminem is another connection. Even if Ramaswamy is actually an Eminem fan, whereas you never felt Trump had any actual interest in the artists whose music he used, beyond the way their songs got the MAGA crowd roused.

Ramaswamy declared during last week’s debate: “God is real. There are two genders. Fossil fuels are a requirement for human prosperity. Reverse racism is racism. An open border is not a border. Parents determine the education of their children. The nuclear family is the greatest form of governance known to man. Capitalism lifts us up from poverty”.

This all seems like a political agenda that many musicians would want to distance themselves from. Although, in Eminem’s case, there is another video doing the rounds that he might prefer not to see a repeat of. Joining Iowa’s Republican Governor Kim Reynolds on stage at the Iowa State Fair earlier this month, Ramaswamy didn’t just walk on stage to Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’, he insisted on joining in.

As we learned after a plethora of artists hit out at Donald Trump for using their music at his rallies – although live events utilise blanket licences from the music industry’s collecting societies which often make it hard for writers to exercise any veto – with political events in the US there is actually the option for writers to stop their music from being used.

Eminem’s collecting society, BMI, has told Ramaswamy that the rapper’s music is now excluded from the licence it has issued to the presidential hopeful’s campaign.

In a letter published by the Daily Mail, BMI states that, having issued the Ramaswamy campaign with a licence back in May, it “has received a communication from Marshall B Mathers II, professionally known as Eminem, objecting to the Vivek Ramaswamy campaign’s use of Eminem’s musical compositions and requesting that BMI remove all Eminem works from the agreement”.

“As such”, the letter continues, “pursuant to paragraph 2(a) of the agreement, this letter serves as notice that the Eminem works are excluded from the agreement effective immediately. BMI will consider any performance of the Eminem works by the Vivek 2024 campaign from this date forward to be a material breach of the agreement for which BMI reserves all rights and remedies with respect thereto”.

In an article last week, New Yorker journalist Jay Caspian Kang concluded that Ramaswamy is not really the next Trump – despite what other media have said – because, whereas the former President “inspired fear in his political enemies”, Ramaswamy isn’t seen as a “credible threat”. He added: “I have a hard time believing that Ramaswamy actually cares about the red-meat MAGA positions that he tries to co-opt”.

I’ve no idea about any of that, but Ramaswamy is definitely not adopting the Trump approach when it comes to dealing with pissed off musicians. In that his campaign seems to be responding to BMI’s letter by complying with Eminem’s wishes without issuing any diss about the rapper. Though, I guess if Ramaswamy is an actual fan, dissing Eminem in that way would be a harder thing to do.

Anyway, referencing both Ramaswamy’s recent rapping at the Iowa State Fair and the resulting letter from BMI, a spokesperson for his campaign told reporters: “Vivek just got on the stage and cut loose. To the American people’s chagrin, we will have to leave the rapping to the real Slim Shady”.

Eminem tells Ramaswamy to stop rapping his music on the campaign trail
The real Slim Shady has stood up - and has told 2024 Republican presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy to stand down, and stop rapping to his tunes on the campaign trail.
Vivek Ramaswamy Is Not the Next Trump
Many in the press have declared the entrepreneur and political novice “Trump’s heir.” The comparison sells the former President short.

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